Texas Hold’em Strategy

Don’t people understand that most of the questions asked about strategy and things like, “How do you play AK under the gun?” can’t be answered in a logical, realistic way? First and foremost, all poker games are different. With even the slightest variance a play conceived as right in one instance can change to an absolute no-no in the next.

Games such as blackjack have formulas; there are no formulas in poker. Every game of poker you sit in has a different presence. There are many facets of the game to consider: the players, the size of the stacks, how long the game has been going, who’s in what position (and I don’t mean in their relation at the table) and lots of other things that many wouldn’t even consider as factors when analyzing the table.

People seem to think that these questions can be answered very quickly with uncomplicated answers. The truth is that most questions have numerous answers and no one answer has to be right or wrong. Aspects such as who will pick up a certain hand can’t be factored into these equations. Consider the different possibilities of play if an idiot (who has no clue how to play it) picks up a big hand versus the play of the same hand by an experienced, knowledgeable player. These things are not predictable. And that is the reason that many of the questions that are asked go unanswered. Because of all the possibilities entailed they really can’t be answered in a logical way.

Additionally, answering questions on many of the trivial issues takes a lot of time, and so, most who are qualified to answer, don’t, because they have better things to do. After all, we are not charitable organizations. I distribute free information for my own reasons. Others do it also, but understand that it does take much time and effort. You may believe what you want, but I assure you that I am as qualified to answer these questions as any one, and far more qualified than most.

However, most of these issues don’t make my list of priorities and they certainly don’t make the other experts’ lists. To the people that ask questions about poker strategy, I pose one question. How would you expect even the most qualified person on earth to answer a question when they’re not even given a modicum of the facts?

Most answers are not so simple that can be put on a chart that you can look at like you can in blackjack. The majorities take real professional knowledge of the game – many different answers may be available, and no answer has to be the final one except in some rare cases. (e.g. If you have the nuts, and the other person has the number two nuts, and you can’t break him or severely dent his stack, you better look into your manner of play. If you can’t break an individual when he has the second best hand possible, how would you expect to beat him?)

Give a person the second nuts in a hand while I am holding the nuts, and this person will be drooling to get their money in. Because of the way I play the hand from the beginning he will usually make the job easier for me and put it in by himself. This is called playing poker.

Poker is not a game where you can read a chart and decide what is the right way to do something. If it were, considering all the possible variables, the chart would be miles long, and by the time you came up with an answer to suit your question, the other players would have bludgeoned you to death.